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Jill Johnson/JPI (2), Howard Wise/JPI, ABC screenshot

Crystal ball at the ready, we’re prognosticating the victors at the 48th-annual ceremony.

You know how much we like to give out previews and spoilers here at Soaps.com, right? Of course you do. So it probably won’t come as much of a — or any! — surprise that we’re going to attempt to do exactly that with the 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards.

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None of us will know until CBS’ broadcast (and Paramount Plus’ live-stream) of the black-tie back-slapalooza who really emerged victorious. But we have some educated guesses as to which shows, stars and behind-the-scenes standouts will be adding gold statuettes to their mantels.

OK, maybe not that educated; which episodes that aired between January 1 and December 31, 2020, comprised the submitted reels wasn’t made public this year. That doesn’t mean that our opinions are any less strong, however.

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So, who do we think will be popping open the bubbly on Friday, June 25? Read on, and we’ll disclose who we think are the frontrunners in each of the major categories:

Outstanding Drama

The nominees: The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless

Our prediction: General Hospital. From the “late” Holly’s blink-and-you’d-miss-it appearance to the devastating blowup at the Floating Rib, no show surprised us more — or more often — than ABC’s.

general hospital gh emma samms holly prisoner cell

Outstanding Drama Writing Team

The nominees: The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless

Our prediction: General Hospital. Rendered with remarkable heart and smarts are the goings-on in Port Charles, thanks to Chris Van Etten, Dan O’Connor and their team of witty wordsmiths.

gh william devry confrontation 2020 julian

Outstanding Drama Directing Team

The nominees: The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless

Our prediction: General Hospital. OK, it’s looking to us like Team Port Charles is going to have a lot of reason to celebrate on Emmy night. In particular, we suspect that the explosion that killed Hot Dustin and Dev is going to blow the competition out of the water in this category.

gh lulu dies

Outstanding Lead Actress

The nominees: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, Bold & Beautiful), Genie Francis (Laura, General Hospital), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, General Hospital), Finola Hughes (Anna, General Hospital), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea, Young & Restless)

Our prediction: The 2022 Lead Actress race is likely to boil down to a face-off between Grahn (for her character’s downward spiral) and Egan (for going “mad” as brilliantly as she did). But the 2021 award? That’s got Wood’s name written all over it. Sure, her alter ego’s insta-addiction lasted as long as a commercial break. But the 2019 victor was gripping in every second of it.

bold beautiful steffy liam intervention

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Outstanding Lead Actor

The nominees: Maurice Benard (Sonny, General Hospital), Steve Burton (Jason, General Hospital), Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, Bold & Beautiful), Wally Kurth (Justin, Days of Our Lives), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante, General Hospital)

Our prediction: Zamprogna. Though Benard’s work at the tail end of their show’s Alzheimer’s storyline was as superlative as the performances that won him his second Emmy last year, we think even he won’t mind being beaten by his on-screen son, whose portrayal of a shattered Dante haunts us to this day. If nothing else, Benard won’t have to see “that pouty look” on Zamprogna’s face.

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Outstanding Supporting Actress

The nominees: Marla Adams (ex-Dina, Young & Restless), Tamara Braun (Ava, Days of Our Lives), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane, General Hospital), Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan, General Hospital), Courtney Hope (ex-Sally, Bold & Beautiful)

Our prediction: Adams. Not only has the veteran actress paid her dues and then some — she debuted as Jack, Ashley and Traci’s here today, gone tomorrow mother back in 2013 — she delivered on her way out performances as poignant as any you’re likely to see in daytime… or anytime!

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Outstanding Supporting Actor

The nominees: Darin Brooks (Wyatt, Bold & Beautiful), Max Gail (ex-Mike, General Hospital), Bryton James (Devon, Young & Restless), Jeff Kober (Cyrus, General Hospital), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin, General Hospital)

Our prediction: Competition doesn’t get any stiffer than Gail, whose General Hospital sendoff left not a dry eye in the audience. But we’re giving the edge to two-time winner James, in particular for the stunningly visceral way that he played Devon’s reaction to the revelation that Elena had cheated.

Devon confronts Elena Y&R

Outstanding Younger Performer

The nominees: Tajh Bellow (TJ, General Hospital), Victoria Konefal (Ciara, Days of Our Lives), Alyvia Alyn Lind (ex-Faith, Young & Restless), Katelyn MacMullen (Willow, General Hospital), Sydney Mikayla (Trina, General Hospital)

Our prediction: In a crowded field of worthy nominees, we see Lind striking gold — and likely setting the stage for a return to the winners circle in 2022 after voters get an eyeful of the emotional performances that preceded her exit.

Faith rebellion Y&R

Outstanding Guest Performer

The nominees: Kim Delaney (Jackie, General Hospital), George DelHoyo (Orpheus, Days of Our Lives), Briana Lane (ex-Brook Lynn, General Hospital), Cady McClain (ex-Jennifer, Days of Our Lives), Victoria Platt (ex-Amanda, Days of Our Lives)

Our prediction: McClain. The All My Children Emmy winner didn’t just step into a tough spot — taking over for Melissa Reeves in a long-, long-established role — she stepped into it, made herself at home and then made us fall in love with the character all over again.

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Jennifer looks seriously into her compact on Days of Our Lives

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So, who do you think will win in each category? Sound off in the comments below, then check out a gallery of victors of an altogether different sort — the longest-serving actors in daytime. The star who’s been with their show for the greatest amount of time just might surprise you!